A Review and Meta-Analysis Examining the Relationship of Music Content with Sex, Race, Priming, and Attitudes

This meta-analysis (k = 35, N = 11,629) examines the effect that listening to music, particularly popular music, has on consumers. Results demonstrate that listening to music generates an effect on listeners consistent with the content of the music (average r = .210, k = 35, N = 11,629). This effect was similar when considering survey research (r = .227) or experimental research (r = .265). The tenets of excitation transfer theory received some support, particularly when considering the effects of music as a priming material (r = .399), demonstrating the impact of music as a means of establishing mood, and ultimately the subsequent reactions of individuals. One conclusion is that efforts toward media literacy or education may prove far more productive than media content restrictions when attempting to curb potential undesirable media effects. Additional implications for policy and theory are discussed.